July is one of the top months for horse racing fans, with some of the biggest races of the year taking place in that month.
If we look at both the UK and the US, we can see a number of events that are well worth following.
Belmont Derby and Belmont Oaks, New York – July 3
The Belmont Derby is a $1 million race held at Belmont Park in New York over 1 ¼ miles. This is the first part of the Turf Trinity Series that then continues in the following months with the Saratoga Derby and the Jockey Club Derby. This series was launched in 2019 as way of emulating the success of the American Triple Crown and adding high-profile events later in the summer.
The Belmont Oaks is run the same day and this is the starting point for the Turf Tiara that continues with the Saratoga Oaks and the Jockey Club Oaks in August and September, respectively. The Belmont Oaks is worth $750,000 and this three-race series has a total purse of $2.25 million.
Newmarket July Festival – July 8 to 10
Newmarket is sometimes described as the home of British horse racing, and this festival in early July is arguably the top event in the racing calendar here. It runs over 3 days and there are 7 top-notch races that take place on each of those days.
Apart from the racing, the Newmarket Festival is famous for the fashion and glamour on show in a garden party-style setting. The action begins with Ladies Day on the Thursday, continues with Gentleman’s Day on Friday, and then Darley July Cup Day on the Saturday closes the Festival in style.
Diana Stakes, New York – July 10
Saratoga Race Course in New York is the setting for this thoroughbred race that takes place each July. Run over 1 1/8 miles of turf, the event is for fillies and mares aged 3 years and older. This is a Grade I race with a purse of $500,000. Rushing Fall won the 2020 Diana Stakes, with jockey Javier Castellano riding her to victory.
It is one of the summer racing calendar’s top events in the US, before August brings us top events such as the Arlington Million, the Travers Stakes, and the Pacific Classic.
Haskell Stakes, New Jersey – July 17
This invitational event is ranked behind only the American Triple Crown in terms of importance for 3 years old in the US. This is a Grade I race that has a purse of $1 million and that sees the country’s finest horses in the age group compete over 1 1/8 miles at the popular Monmouth Park venue.
It is the top horse race held in the New Jersey summer. The Jersey Derby is also run at Monmouth and it sometimes falls in late July, but this year it was run on May 28.
Check out some other horse racing events in New Jersey.
Glorious Goodwood Festival, West Sussex – July 27 to 31
One of the best months of horse racing in the whole year ends with another of the UK’s top festivals.
The Glorious Goodwood Festival is a five-day affair that sometimes falls in August, but in 2021 it will be held right at the tail end of July. 3 of the country’s 36 Group 1 flat races are held here.
The main races at the Festival are the Sussex Stakes, the Nassau Stakes, and the Goodwood Cup. For sponsorship reasons, the event is officially known as the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
The Goodwood Cup is the highlight of the opening day and it is aimed at long-distance stayers. With a purse of £500,000, it makes for an exciting start to an action-packed 5 days of racing.